Figures have revealed that the University have over-subscribed 400 more students to study at York next year than projections made in 2009.
A document only made available this year shows official projections made two years ago by the University planned for the capacity for 12,355 students should be accepted to study in the academic year 2011/2012. Numbers were not meant to reach 12,800 until the academic year 2015/2016.
The University had projected a gradual increase of student numbers for the coming years, planning to level out the number of home students to 8203 home undergraduates next year.
The projection figures took into account the construction of Goodricke College on Heslington East, which opened last year and is now being used to full capacity.
Commenting on the issue, the University stated that counting student numbers “is very complicated, and can be affected by different factors.
“Some part-time students are distance learners and figures for total student numbers may also include those people from the community studying in the Centre for Lifelong Learning. Projections do not include changes in the funding environment, the attractiveness of the University and conversion rates.
They concurred that “demand for places at York continues to grow” and that the University is “seeking to manage that growth in a sustainable way.”
While the University are now considering plans for an extra college to be built, any plans would not be able to be drawn up and built in time to keep up with next year’s over-subscriptions. The University may instead have to invest in buying more off-campus properties to fulfill their accommodation promise to all first-year students.
The move of Langwith College to Heslington East may ease some pressure to accommodate for the increase of students, but will not allow any excess of available bedspaces.
YUSU President Tim Ngwena, expressed his concerns at the figures. “”The projections on student numbers and the reality highlighted from the recent figures show that there is an increasing amount of pressure not just on academic resources but also facilities.
He continued: “It’s crucial that growth across the University occurs in a uniform manner and not just in student numbers. ”
While plans were designed to allow the percentage of overseas students to rise, these plans may have to be changed as plans were announced last week by immigration minister, Damien Green, that the number of visas given to overseas students will be dramatically restricted, which could lead to a considerable loss of income for the University.